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Bitcoin’s price enters free-fall, and it’s going to keep falling without the mainstream market

cryptocurrency, bitcoin, price, value, market

It wasn’t certain at first, the price dropped – in stages and seemingly in accordance with news – but it couldn’t really be said to have ‘tumbled’ until now, having crossed below the fabled $8,000 mark.

The $8,000 line has been important for Bitcoinistas since the price started looking like it might dive, back in late December. Why $8,000 was considered important in the crypto-world is not all that clear, but it seems to represent a fairly arbitrary benchmark – perhaps a significant chunk below the high water mark of around $19,000 – nonetheless it’s a point which many have been speculating on.

What seems more certain – to us, at least – is that the price will continue to fall. There is no real reason to invest in Bitcoin right now beyond speculating on its value fluctations, there is still no real pathway or roadmap for Bitcoin achieving its promise: no one can tell you when it will become a consumer currency, or even how; merely that it will. And it almost certainly will. But Bitcoin holds no value unless it can fulfil this promise, and thus any investment in it is the stuff of hopes and dreams until someone can describe, even roughly, the steps between here and there.

Yet the Bitcoinistas remain defiant:

Very defiant:

But the Bitcoinistas are not just loyal, they’re tribal. Bitcoin speculation is pure in a way that other markets are not, there are some futures now trading and some large-scale mining in Asia (which would probably be better referred to as ‘harvsesting’), but generally speaking cryptocurrencies are not an professional’s market. Bitcoin’s tribal followers will probably always follow it, and probably always be invested to some extent.

Alas, this is not from whence Bitcoin’s value will be derived. But it speaks to one of a number of elephants in the Bitcoin room. That is, the market is occupied by early adopters, by the tech savvy, by the disenfranchised, by the FOMOphiliacs. Any product needs its early adopters, they are the ones who will spur a concept on through its early stages. But how many products have we seen die at the feet of the early-mainstream? How many times have investments been declined on the basis of poor ‘product-market fit’?

If Bitcoin’s price is to rise once more, as surely it will, it needs to gain access to the early-mainstream market. How do you take people who are kind of tech savvy, but who aren’t be any means dedicated to tech – people who go on about their lives filled with friends and work and sports nights – and make Bitcoin useful to them. To make it so easy and sensible to use Bitcoin that they put some money in a cryptowallet and use it to buy something on Amazon every now and then?

While this might seem both obvious and frustrating, much online conversation is devoid of the point. Yes, obviously, Bitcoin will one day be a consumer currency. And yes, frustratingly, that isn’t just round the corner. But also, unavoidably, that is the only thing which will pick Bitcoin up off its feet and see it march inexorably onward to become the stalwart of modern life it will one day become.

About the author

Ben Allen

Ben Allen is a traveller, a millennial and a Brit. He worked in the London startup world for a while but really prefers commenting on it than working in it. He has huge faith in the tech industry and enjoys talking and writing about the social issues inherent in its development.

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